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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Bay Area Experts Diwali Prepare Sweet & Salty Treats for Fall Festival

One of the earliest memories of Amisha Dodhia Gurbani when she was growing up as a little girl in Mumbai was holding the end of her mother’s saree while watching her cook for the family in the wee hours of the morning. Aromatic daals. Delicious chutneys. And ideally round rotli for a full-fledged Gujarati meal thali, which Gurbani mastered by the age of 10.

The weeks leading up to Diwali were a particularly exciting time when a rainbow of rangoli graced the house and Gurbani’s mother, Hema, made gajar no halva with a touch of cardamom, or carrot halva, a flavorful cashew, brittle and nutty, fondant-like mohantal. in honor of the Indian festival of light, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists.

Amisha Dodhiya Gurbani is an engineer from Fremont and the first author of the cookbook “Mumbai Modern”. (Courtesy of Gurbani)

They were just mithhai or sweets. Like most families who celebrate Diwali, which begins November 4th, Gurbani feasted good luck-style curries, vegetable jackets, and paneer at dinner parties throughout the month.

“It was an abundance of food,” recalls Gurbani, a computer engineer in Fremont. She’s also the creator of the Jam Lab, where she shares her drool-worthy culinary styles, photos, and fusion recipes, including the stunningly gorgeous passionfruit (cashew) Katley blondes to add to an epic Diwali cookie box this year.

Gurbani’s new cookbook offers more inspiration. Modern Mumbai: Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by Indian Roots and Californian Cuisine (Countryman Press, $ 35) includes not only traditional and innovative diwali sweets – hello, peacock pasta with apricot saffron jam – but just 100 recipes for breakfast (pear and cinnamon rolls Tea Masala), snacks (Aloo Tiki Arancini with Saffron Aioli), main courses (Vegetable Kofta in tomato curry with cashews) and even drinks (Kumquat and Caipirinha with ginger).

Through her cookbook and lessons – Gurbani is hosting an autograph session at Omnivore Books in San Francisco on November 13 and hosting a virtual Mumbai Street Food cooking workshop from Milk Street on November 17 – she wants to help Americans cook more Indian food at home. “Don’t be intimidated by the long lists of ingredients,” she says. These are usually just spices. And having a dabba or spice box on hand will help them and you will be organized for success. The idea of ​​mise en place is one of the many lessons she learned from Hema, who died in 2007. The book is dedicated to her.

Bay Area Experts Diwali Prepare Sweet & Salty Treats for Fall Festival
Mumbai Modern is an exceptionally fresh take on Gujarati cuisine from aspiring writer Amish Dodhia Gurbani of Fremont. (Countryman Press)

“Everything I know about cooking I learned from her,” Gurbani says. “My mom was very generous and kind and loved to share her food. This (cookbook) shares her heritage with the world. “

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This love of sharing homemade Indian food is what prompted Archana and Mohita Nagrat, engineers and self-proclaimed foodies, to open Desi at Campbell in 2019.

“The idea (behind the menu) is to bring out the similarities between different dishes in the world,” says Archana. “Every culture has pizza or empanada, we just don’t call it that.”

Think of grated bhurji paneer pies made with eggs and Indian spices, yogurt rice balls in panko with spicy pickles and guji empanadas, savory sweet Indian crescent dumplings. The rewards are stuffed with mushrooms, garlic, cottage cheese and green peppers.

Bay Area Experts Diwali Prepare Sweet & Salty Treats for Fall Festival
Archana and Mohit Nagrat are the owners of Campbell’s Desi restaurant, which will distribute gulab jamun crème brulee to diners during Diwali. (Courtesy of Archana Nagrat)

On Diwali, they plan to decorate the restaurant with tea lights and vibrant rangoli patterns that symbolize light, joy and abundance. They will be giving away a free dessert – gulab jamun crème brulee, classic mithai – to every snack bar on November 4th. And they will launch a new dish, paneer naan pizza or chicken tikka and all that. fastening.

“It’s very nostalgic, we used to do it at home when we were kids,” says Archana. “And this fun dish to share is perfect for Diwali.”

Rooh owners Anu and Vikram Bhambri celebrate Diwali annually with their 90 employees at their progressive Indian-style restaurants in Palo Alto and San Francisco.

“We order boxes of sweets for everyone, pray to Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth), light candles and prepare special meals for the staff,” Vikram says. “This is a tradition that everyone is looking forward to.”

From November 4th to 7th, Palo Alto guests will be able to order kebab platters ($ 55) with a choice of salmon tikka, lamb chops, duck kebab or malay tikka with chicken, plus the option to add the popular North Indian Diwali sweet … called Chenna Malpua. These deep-fried, golden brown pancakes are usually served with a heavy cream called rabri. Chef Pujan Sarkar prepares rabri ice cream.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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